Each year there is a Heritage Festival near where I live.
A month before the 2015 Guildford Heritage Festival I decided I should go in costume and synchronise the costume making with a historical costume challenge that is held every year. Each month of the challenge has a theme. For March 2015 the challenge theme was 'Stash Busting'.
These two events combined resulted in a fun frothy, and 'costumey' 1870s Victorian gown that I like to call My Big Froufy Costumey Costume.
Although one month isn't much time for making a Victorian gown I wore the gown to the festival using a few, okay, a lot of pins to hold it together.
Two months prior to the 2016 festival I began work on suitable underpinnings and accessories for the gown, as well as improving the fit and and properly finishing all those pinned together sections.
Big Froufy GownThis gown style would have been worn by upper-middle class ladies of the early bustle era 1865-1879.
This particular gown is based off the 1871-73 gown featured on page 28 of Patterns of Fashion: English Women's Dresses and their construction c1860 - 1940 by Janet Arnold.
At the time her book was published the original gown was housed at the Gallery of English Costume, however is currently housed at Manchester Galleries.
Some of the skirt trims are inspired by other extant gowns from the early bustle era.
Planning Stage - 2 March 2015Pondering my options and ideas, I start to gather research material.
Selecting Pattern and Fabrics - 9 March 2015The gown concept solidifies once the materials and patterns are assessed.
Foundation Garments Corset 7 March 2015
While I'm all for making do when time is short a girl just can't go without her underpinnings! No time to make a mock-up and correct the pattern, the first version will have to do.
Ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles 12 March 2015
Decorating the skirt got underway.
The fun part of every historical garments is the trimmings.
Two Days Before the Festival But No Bodice 26 March 2015Every costumer doubts their work at the last minute. But when there's only 2 days left and you don't even have a bodice pattern drafted yet panic starts to set it.
I stole from my own work and used some box pleat ruffles that were intended for a tampico style bustle to finish the neckline and cuffs, it also provided the hat.
The Guildford Heritage Fesitval 29th March 2015
The bustle was made the month before as part the 'blue' challenge.
Gown Improvement Plan for the 2016 Festival